Binary stars are all the rage in science fiction again. After Luke Skywalker wistfully looked at out at a binary sunset in 1977 in the first Star Wars, binary stars popped up in the debut of Star Trek: Discovery in late 2017. And now, the ending of the new (spoiler alert!) Lost In Space — out this past Friday on Netflix — puts the Robinson family on the edge of a mysterious binary star system, too. But, from the looks of it, this binary star system could be based on a real place. And that’s because it looks a lot like the contact binary star VFTS 352.
At the very end of episode 10 of Lost In Space, robotic alien tech transports the Robinsons’ Jupiter 2 spaceship to a funky looking star system, which is heavily implied to be the home star system of the alien robots who both help and harm humans throughout the show. In the first episode, the Robot draws two circles in the sand and shows it to Will Robinson, meaning, this is probably the Robot’s place of origin. But, the cool thing is, this specific image in the final episode looks a lot like VFTS 352, a very real, and very fascinating place in our own galaxy.
The binary star system VFTS 352 — located in Tarantula Nebula in the Large Magellanic Cloud — is a “contact binary star.” This means the stars orbits are so close together that they actually share atmospheres. The long-game of VFTS 352 is unknown, but some astronomers believe the two stars could either merge and cause a supernova, or eventually become a binary black hole.
Weirdly, this is the second binary star system encountered by characters in Lost In Space. The unnamed planet which the Robinsons and other human survivors are stranded on for most the show is part of a binary star system consisting of a star and a black hole. Most of the plot of the show involves Maureen Robinson (Molly Paker) worrying that the planet will get screwed over by the black hole if they stay on it too long. Though the process on the show is quicker than it would be real life, this is a very real problem for planets in binary star systems.
Lost In Space does not have a definite season 2 confirmation or launch date, yet. The show is streaming now on Netflix and just launched on Friday, April 13.
The only thing Will and his family know about this binary system is that the Robot used the word “danger” to describe it. And if the Robinsons have found themselves at the contact binary star VFTS 352, the biggest danger they face isn’t just from killer robots, but instead, an impending supernova or, yet another black hole.